As a Human Resource associate you have probably known that having tons of paperwork to keep and work on is a daily thing. Though things have now changed, and now data is being automated. Still, the principle of Human Resource still remains the same. And it basically revolves around making and keeping employees’ records. As data is continuously being produced. The next question that usually comes would be, which one should i keep? And how long must be it stored?

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Well to begin with. As a human resource associate you should make sure that any personal information that you keep on your staff should be adequate and relevant. It must also not be excessive to save yourself from certain costs that can occur. As different countries may have different rules & policies on the types of data that you can keep. It’s best to check with your local government. Now, let’s take a look at the basic types of employee records that are usually kept by HR.

Employee Data

Employee data are basic details that will give the employers’ the background on the employee’s personal attributes, demographic info & identity proofs that are required to be filled in as according to the labor law. This data will include basic things such as age, birth date, gender, etc. An example would be like the below:

  1. Name – ABCD
  2. Age – 20
  3. Birth date – 11st October 1990
  4. Gender – Male
  5. Marital status – Unmarried
  6. Nationality – Korean
  7. Blood Group – AB+
  8. Educational Qualification – Bachelors of Degree in Arts
  9. Permanent Address – Gangnam
  10. Passport number – XXXXX007
  11. Etc

Please take note that for some more sensitive datas such as the Special category data that is in the GDPR, consents in keeping data from the employee is a must. Special category data might include data such as one’s employees’ race, ethnic origin, religion, health, etc. When exposed, this sensitive data could possibly create more significant risks to a person’s fundamental rights & freedoms. This is why handling them with great care is a must.

Contact Details

Labor laws require companies to have an updated employee contact details. This includes information of those that are directly/indirectly connected to the employees. From friends to families. Well, why is this necessary? On the case of emergencies or any unexpected occurrences, a company should have the right information about who should be contacted & how to reach them.

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Below is an example sample of contact detail form:

  1. Contact number – XXXXXXX
  2. Email address –
  3. Address for correspondence – Gangnam-gu, Seoul
  4. Emergency contact number – XXXXXXX
  5. Emergency contact person – Winston Harapan
  6. Relation with emergency contact person – Husband
  7. Mediclaim details provided – Yes

Employment Details

Employment details contain details about employee’s past and current work experiences. Though usually overlooked, keeping employment detail is very important to both the employees and employers. In employment details, there are documents such as the employee’s resume, employment contracts and the employee’s bank account information.

As these documents are necessary to mediate misunderstandings or future conflicts that might arise, both the employer and the employee will usually hold a copy of each of these documents.

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Attendance, Payroll and Benefits details

When it comes to data, perhaps attendance & payroll details are the most sensitive among them. Whenever there are legal disputes, it would be your job as an employer to prove on whether or not you owe your employee through attendance records & pay slip information. As historical issues can be a determining factor in future legal proceedings. A good payroll data must contain a history of the employee’s jobs, attendance records, departments, compensation changes, loans and other information which is in relations to the payment of salaries to employees.

Though different countries might have difference compliance laws when it comes to payroll. Most countries have made it mandatory by law to store these information. Let’s take an example of the US. Under the State Labor Laws & Fair Labor Standards Act, payroll information must always be readily available when required. If you use online Attendance & payroll provider like Albam, then you can always have a downloadable form of your employees’ work records in excel.

Tax Paperwork

Each country have its own different form of Tax rules. And each employer must make sure that they have prepared and completed the tax paperwork for its employees. Usually they are combined together with the national insurance & pension scheme program. A good employer should make sure that they have completed and filled in a yearly tax return for the employees.

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How Long must i keep my HR Records ?

By law, HR Records must be kept by the company, and the statutory retention periods for some records as stated in the Data Protection Act (DPA). For example data like P60s & P45s must be kept for at least 6 years. Please also take note that we are not able to provide you the exact period for data retention. As it very much depends on the nature of individual record. For guidance, we have compiled some of the typical records that are usually kept by HR & the time frame that they should be kept for.

  • Accident Records: Minimum of 3 years since the last entry, or if it involves a child until they reach 21.
  • Income Tax and NI: Minimum of 3 years from the end of the financial year to which they relate.
  • Maternity and Paternity: Minimum of 3 years from the end of the tax year in which the leave ends.
  • Salary and Pay: Minimum of 6 years.
  • Working Time: 2 years.

Things to take note: Based on the Data Protection act, now subjects have the rights to have their data erased. The data must be deleted securely upon the request of the subject and once it has no longer serves it’s main purpose.

Keeping data Save

Do take note that with the application of GDPR last year. Data protection is now seen as more important than ever, with huge fines for those that break the law. To keep your company’s data safe, always maintain strict audits on how your data is being kept. If you are still putting them on physical locations, do make sure that your data is stored in somewhere safe. And if you are using cloud, trusting it with the right service provider that complies with GDPR & internet security is very important. If you are using cloud based solutions to keep your data or is currently engaging a third party SAAS provider to out source your data. Then you might want to read this.

How can i manage Employees’ records efficiently?

If your company is a small medium sized business of around 5 to 10 people. Then perhaps storing employees’ records is easy for you. But when the size of your company expands, then having the need to store tons of paperworks is not only troublesome, but also costly. The best way to avoid this kind of issue is to move to a trusted Cloud Based HR SaaS Solution like Albam. Why hassle when you can be paperless?

What is Albam?

Albam is an all in one Human Resource solution system that allows you to manage and centralize every aspect of your staffing needs. From attendance to automated payroll. Backed by cutting-edge cloud computing system, clock in anywhere and anytime to access, personalize and download your data.

Join more than 50,000 corporates that have trusted Albam in more than 20 countries worldwide now. Time attendance & Payroll management has never been this easier.

The Albam for Admin Android app and iOS app is now available for free. This isn’t a trial. Your free access to Albam Time & Attendance never expires.